The world of animation is forced to say goodbye to a true legend today. June Foray, best known for her work on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and Looney Tunes, has passed away at the age of 99. The exact cause of her death has not yet been revealed.
Variety was the first to break the news of June Foray's passing, which comes just eight weeks before what would have been her 100th birthday The news was confirmed by her close friend Dave Nimitz on Facebook. Here's what he had to say about it.
"With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old she is resting peacefully now with her beloved sister Geri and Sam her brother-in-law I'm going out of my mind with the loss and losing all three of them within the last month-and-a-half but they're in a better place now truly cherish my time with June and in the family for the last 14 years she is now in heaven with her family and my mother if I don't respond right away please forgive me I need to disappear from Facebook for a while Saturday we are having a private family only memorial for Sam So lts very bittersweet for me.'
June Foray is known as first lady of voice acting and was a true pioneer in the field. She worked well into her 90s, with her last credit going as late as 2014. Some of her best known roles over the years include Rocky the Flying Squirrel from Rocky and Bullwinkle, Witch Hazel from Looney Tunes, Nell from Dudley Do-Right, Granny in the Tweety and Sylvester cartoons and Cindy Lou Who from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Those may be her better-known roles, but she has more than 300 credits to her name spanning more than six decades.
Outside of her work behind the microphone, June Foray was also a big force in the industry and a major advocate for voice actors. She was a big part of the team that got the Academy to include a Best Animated Feature category for the Oscars. She was also one of the originating members of the animation organization ASIFA and she helped start the Annie Awards, which honors those who work in the field of animation. Here's what ASIFA president Jerry Beck had to say about June Foray's passing.
"On behalf of ASIFA-Hollywood, of which June was a founder, we are mourning the passing of animation's best friend. She has touched so many lives: with her voice that of so many classic cartoon character, her efforts to create ASIFA, to maintain the Academy's Oscar for Best Animated Short and her leadership in crafting the category of Best Animated Feature. She was one of a kind. A trailblazer, a great talent and a truly wonderful person. We will never forget her."
June Foray was not just an actress who will forever be remembered for her countless characters and roles over the years, but she was a true advocate for the art form and the legacy she leaves behind is truly massive. Her work with legends like Chuck Jones in the early days of her career all the way up to her retirement in 2014 will never be forgotten. RIP, June Foray.